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FEI...WTF?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Wanderosa View Post

    Any equine that is a cross between horse and donkey is considered a mule. I've worked with draft mules and seen pony sized ones, too. Not sure what I'm missing here?
    You're not missing anything. angelssix didn't say that Buckeye isn't a mule, only that he doesn't look as typically mule-ish as Wallace.
    "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

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    • #22
      Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post

      You're not missing anything. angelssix didn't say that Buckeye isn't a mule, only that he doesn't look as typically mule-ish as Wallace.
      Gotcha. Don't tell Buckeye. He'll be offended.

      Comment


      • #23
        This is from six years ago, but here's a 4th level mule:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_guhCo17qnE

        I thought, at least in the US, that mules were permitted at all levels, but not in FEI level competitions, i.e., CDIs. It seems odd that FEI could dictate to countries what they permit nationally. They have authority over international competitiions, but can they force national organizations to conform for national-only shows. The mule in the video I posted is the only higher level mule I've known of, though I understand Meredith Hodges of Colorado (Charles Schultz daughter) has some higher level mules. Everything I've seen locally from mules has been 2nd level or lower, and isn't the "notorious" Wallace basically a Training/1st Level competitor? Seems a bit ridiculous for the FEI to get its knickers in a twist over a low level pony-sized mule.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Belowthesalt View Post
          This is from six years ago, but here's a 4th level mule:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_guhCo17qnE

          I thought, at least in the US, that mules were permitted at all levels, but not in FEI level competitions, i.e., CDIs. It seems odd that FEI could dictate to countries what they permit nationally. They have authority over international competitiions, but can they force national organizations to conform for national-only shows. The mule in the video I posted is the only higher level mule I've known of, though I understand Meredith Hodges of Colorado (Charles Schultz daughter) has some higher level mules. Everything I've seen locally from mules has been 2nd level or lower, and isn't the "notorious" Wallace basically a Training/1st Level competitor? Seems a bit ridiculous for the FEI to get its knickers in a twist over a low level pony-sized mule.
          Mules only have full standing with horses in endurance and USEF driving events. In dressage, they can compete in any class except:

          1. USEF Championships, USEF qualifying and selection trials, and observation classes, 2. any other classes designated as qualifying or selection classes for international or international high performance competition, and 3. championships where such participation is prohibited in the championship selection procedures.
          The FEI doesn't technically disallow mules in any event by their own definition of a horse. If it came out of a mare, it's a horse in their book, regardless of the sire (those poor hinnies...). Which leads me to believe that there's a mule coming up the levels in a country that doesn't have as large of a tradition of mule skinning as the US does (so nobody even thought about mules in sport), and now someone's got their knickers in a knot over the thought of losing to a longear.

          Edit: Just learned about this, so maybe that's the reason for all the recent hoopla.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by angelssix View Post

            That guy is mostly Appy, so doesn't look quite so mule-ish. Now Wallace the mule is a whole different story:
            ​​​​​​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqGPhRrJTlA
            Mostly Appy? If it is a mule, it has to be HALF donkey - mules are sterile, so there is no 3/4 Appy, or some other higher percentage of horse in the mix?

            On the topic - our USEF rules use to prohibit mules too. I don't remember the exact wording, but the rules only allowed horses to compete in dressage. A few mule riders went to bat for the mules, and got the rules changed. And for a while, it was totally hostile, I remember scribing for one of the judges who had spoken out AGAINST mules, and a mule rider came in, halted, saluted with the middle finger, and gave her the look that kills. I asked after the ride - what was that about? And I learned the story of the debate - mules are NOT horses.

            One concern that a lot of people had - mules can scare horses - which is true. We have several in my region that show, and some of the horses just flip out at the mules. I also took lessons in a barn once where a mule hauled in, and I always had to take my lesson after the mule, because my horse didn't really care about being in the ring with the mule. So, there are some reasons, but OTOH, let's be real, does it really matter? Horses get over it. Some horses flip out over white horses too! Mules are not going to take over the FEI world. And there are some nice mules that are competing. The biggest challenges seem to be connection (their neck tends to be build a bit upside down from the donkey side, and their heads tend to be big), and a good canter. And of course, convincing the mule that dressage is something they want to do.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
              My bets are that someone in Italy has a pretty good mule that is doing pretty good and someone(s) got their panties in a wad losing to this creature and thus petitioned for the rule.
              You're getting quite warm.

              Bethe Mounce
              Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
              https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
              Brentwood CA

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              • #27
                Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post

                Mostly Appy? If it is a mule, it has to be HALF donkey - mules are sterile, so there is no 3/4 Appy, or some other higher percentage of horse in the mix?

                On the topic - our USEF rules use to prohibit mules too. I don't remember the exact wording, but the rules only allowed horses to compete in dressage. A few mule riders went to bat for the mules, and got the rules changed. And for a while, it was totally hostile, I remember scribing for one of the judges who had spoken out AGAINST mules, and a mule rider came in, halted, saluted with the middle finger, and gave her the look that kills. I asked after the ride - what was that about? And I learned the story of the debate - mules are NOT horses.

                One concern that a lot of people had - mules can scare horses - which is true. We have several in my region that show, and some of the horses just flip out at the mules. I also took lessons in a barn once where a mule hauled in, and I always had to take my lesson after the mule, because my horse didn't really care about being in the ring with the mule. So, there are some reasons, but OTOH, let's be real, does it really matter? Horses get over it. Some horses flip out over white horses too! Mules are not going to take over the FEI world. And there are some nice mules that are competing. The biggest challenges seem to be connection (their neck tends to be build a bit upside down from the donkey side, and their heads tend to be big), and a good canter. And of course, convincing the mule that dressage is something they want to do.
                I took an early morning lesson today. In the field next to the ring was a white pony and a big sorrel mule. At one point I am trotting along and the mule brayed. Startled me, didn't bug my horse. You know that high strung OTTB. The mule has been on the farm for a few weeks so I am sure that Carson has heard him before but this morning was the first time I heard him. Mule lives on the other side of the farm so Carson may not have seen him before but he really didn't care. We have a sheep on the farm too. Carson doesn't care about him either.

                My previous horse spooked at a pile of snow that was next to his field. Mind you he had been walking past it for a week. But suddenly it was scary once I was riding past it.

                Some horses will spook at anything.

                Heck twice as shows with 2 different horses I have had issues with those darn show supporter advertising banners that are hung on the show ring fences. First time I hit the ground, 2nd time green horse refused the first fence.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                • #28
                  I don't really think it is "mule specific" so much as it is "lack of exposure" specific. It's not as if a horse intrinsically knows mule scent is to be avoided at all costs.. A horse that spends its life training only in a ring is going to become unglued because of anything strange, be it an umbrella in a different place, a speaker, or a mule..

                  Like another poster said, some horses will spook at anything, and I definitely think some horses are more prone to be spooky and looky-lou when they sense their rider is concerned about something. Case in point would be my TB who goes by sheep every time we hack. He always is interested in them, but never spooks.. Anyway, had a different rider on him who just could not get him past them - snorting, prancing, blowing.. but she was worried about them before she even sat on his back, and I think he picked up on that. Next day I hacked him past without him even batting an eye.

                  BTDT shown against and around mules. I really don't think they're as big a problem with horses as people think they are.

                  My first show with my most recent project there was a mule in warm-up. This schooling show is famous for being absolutely hectic in terms of atmosphere; lots of rank beginners on cranky ponies, lots of "first show on barely broke horse" debuts -- but I always pick it for my projects' first debut because I figure if they can handle the atmosphere here, they can handle the atmosphere anywhere... anyway, there was a mule and I don't think one horse had a problem with him.. there were probably 30 horses and ponies milling in and around the warm up (which is a really big grass field) and I did not see any horses misbehaving because of the mule.
                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                  • #29
                    When I was competing exclusively in dressage there was a Thoroughbred mule that was at all of the schooling shows. She held her own but certainly wasn't showing the talent to go further than second level. I really don't understand why FEI has their panties in a wad over mules competing at the low levels that will never fall under FEI rule.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Here in Region 7 there is a trainer who competes several in dressage with some frequency. I will say that my AQHA cannot tolerate being in the ring with them and gets very, very dramatic. My WB mare could care less. I'm unclear if it is the braying or if they have a different scent or what. But it can also be an issue in the stabling...they are very, very, loud. At least this particular group of mules

                      I'm sure everyone will say that we should train our horses to get over it and it's true to a point. But the braying can be really tough on horses who aren't exposed on a frequent basis.
                      Last edited by exploding pony; Jul. 26, 2019, 07:50 PM. Reason: Edited for additional thoughts.

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                      • #31
                        I don't know if there's familial relationship...(just kidding)….but I've had four Appaloosas over the past 40+ years, and three of them absolutely adored/were fascinated by mules. The present one (who is something of a spook) has never seen a mule, so I don't know about him. But those others...one was madly in love with a molly mule that boarded at our barn. I used to show once a year in the breed division at the Grand National Horse Show (and Rodeo and Livestock Exposition) in San Francisco. One year it was "Mule Day" on Monday and "Appaloosa Day" on Tuesday. I arrived Monday to keep my horse there overnight, and a mule exhibitor looked him up and down (nearly 17 hands) and asked, "You entered today AND tomorrow?" (My Appy did have big ears...…..)

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by exploding pony View Post
                          Here in Region 7 there is a trainer who competes several in dressage with some frequency. I will say that my AQHA cannot tolerate being in the ring with them and gets very, very dramatic. My WB mare could care less. I'm unclear if it is the braying or if they have a different scent or what. But it can also be an issue in the stabling...they are very, very, loud. At least this particular group of mules

                          I'm sure everyone will say that we should train our horses to get over it and it's true to a point. But the braying can be really tough on horses who aren't exposed on a frequent basis.
                          Yes, I'm in the same region, and have seen the same thing. It is a "smell", I'm pretty sure. Some horses just don't care, and some are terrified. One show has pens along one side of the parking area, and you have to walk along those pens to get to the show arena. A couple of mules were in the pens at a show. I watched the people leading and riding their horses by that row of pens, and it was certainly a whole variety of reactions from the horses.

                          My mare gave them a big look, and snorted, but when I told her it was OK, she was OK with them. But there were a few that were rearing and running backwards along "mule row". The mules were quiet, no braying, just peacefully eating their hay - so it had to be a smell issue.

                          As I said, personally, I'm fine with it, but then I don't have one of the horses that was rearing and running backwards. I suspect if I did, I might not be so fine with it

                          We even had a mule in the barn at our Championship show a few years ago. The horse across from my mare reared and bucked for 4 days straight, spent the entire 4 days in a lather. My own mare was more concerned about the rearing and bucking horse then the mule. When the mule brayed (not often), I thought the horse across from us was going to break his neck, he was seriously terrified.

                          So, that may also be part of the worry. I really think it is not something of much importance in the long run. How many mules will compete at the FEI level? At CDIs? I think it is much ado over little consequence.

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                          • #33
                            Sorry, but if I can’t show a pony in a CDI then you sure shouldn’t be allowed to show a mule.
                            Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                            you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post
                              Sorry, but if I can’t show a pony in a CDI then you sure shouldn’t be allowed to show a mule.
                              I really don't understand that rule. What makes a pony so unworthy to compete internationally above the pony level?

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                                I don't really think it is "mule specific" so much as it is "lack of exposure" specific. It's not as if a horse intrinsically knows mule scent is to be avoided at all costs.. A horse that spends its life training only in a ring is going to become unglued because of anything strange, be it an umbrella in a different place, a speaker, or a mule..
                                Like others, I'm not so sure I agree. Generally the only time I run into mules is on the trails, so right there you know my world is not limited to a riding arena The last 3 horses (including the present one) could all safely be said to have plenty of exposure. Between the three of them it was racing, showing hunters or dressage, trail riding, hunter paces and CDE. Only the current horse (a fjord) was utterly unconcerned with them (no surprise there, but the same could not be said of minis!) The other two, an OTTB and just a plain old TB were all VERY aware of the mule. VERY. They didn't become unglued because they were exposed to a lot of things and I was very good at making it a schooling moment But they did not like it one bit. And if I had been in a class when the meeting happened, I can guarantee the class would have been less successful than a mule free class. But I was on the trails and hadn't paid anyone to render judgment on my trail riding skills, so it was all good.

                                Funnily enough, of the two TBs, the older TB (raced) was one of the best trail horses (and show horse) I have ever owned, the "I will go through FIRE for you" kind of horse... and he was the most disturbed by mules of all of them which was always the surprise. I would have bet money he would have been unfazed after the first meeting. The other one (aka "the thug") is a great trail horse and pretty brave, but with a BIG move (spin) when he is not brave. I've had deer break literally over out heads up the side of the mountain and everyone behind and around us lost their cookies and he could care less. Mules? After the first one, he was aware of them, but fine. But gaited horses? So much terror. Heart thumping terror...
                                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post

                                  Mostly Appy? If it is a mule, it has to be HALF donkey - mules are sterile, so there is no 3/4 Appy, or some other higher percentage of horse in the mix?
                                  Many years ago, I saw a mare mule that I was pretty sure was pregnant which prompted me to do some reading on the topic. I looked it up again just to be sure, and it turns out that in fact mare mules may sometimes be fertile when bred to a jack or a stallion. Apparently there have been 60 documented cases since 1527 (probably not including the one I think I saw ). The most surprising thing I read in the Wikipedia article was that a mare mule was bred to a Saddlebred stallion in the 1920s and produced a stallion which went on to sire offspring on horses. It was reported by Texas A&M University, so it's likely true. Fun fact for the day.
                                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Bombproof View Post

                                    Many years ago, I saw a mare mule that I was pretty sure was pregnant which prompted me to do some reading on the topic. I looked it up again just to be sure, and it turns out that in fact mare mules may sometimes be fertile when bred to a jack or a stallion. Apparently there have been 60 documented cases since 1527 (probably not including the one I think I saw ). The most surprising thing I read in the Wikipedia article was that a mare mule was bred to a Saddlebred stallion in the 1920s and produced a stallion which went on to sire offspring on horses. It was reported by Texas A&M University, so it's likely true. Fun fact for the day.
                                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule
                                    I knew there were a few - but statistically, 60 in 500 years is about the same as zero. Mules (and other crossed species) are typically sterile - something about an added chromosome. There are a few bizarre cases where that doesn't happen, and you get a fertile animal, but I am pretty sure we would hear about any such breeding, since it would be scientific huge news. So, I'm going to stick by my statement, there are no 3/4 Appy mules

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                                    • #38
                                      FWiW, I believe that female mules are referred to as "Mollys," not mares, and males are "Johns (to differentiate from "jackass?? LOL")

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post

                                        I knew there were a few - but statistically, 60 in 500 years is about the same as zero. Mules (and other crossed species) are typically sterile - something about an added chromosome. There are a few bizarre cases where that doesn't happen, and you get a fertile animal, but I am pretty sure we would hear about any such breeding, since it would be scientific huge news. So, I'm going to stick by my statement, there are no 3/4 Appy mules
                                        Just saying it's not impossible.

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